Packing for Peru

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Adventure Travel Packing – Peru (and other places)

Adventure Travel Packing – Peru

In Peru, plan on spending a good amount of time outdoors–trekking around and exploring.  Whether that trekking involves ancient ruins, fabled lost cities, walking the cobblestone streets of old colonial cities, trek you will.

WHAT TO BRING: Less is more and you will love the luxury of having space in your bag to cart home purchases.  You cannot pack too little if you handle the essentials – but you can certainly pack way too much and overburden and confuse yourself.

LUGGAGE:  Don’t scrimp on this.  A good piece of luggage can be relied upon for many years to come.   I recommend people bring one suitcase on their journey…about the size of a large backpack.  That’s right…one piece of luggage will be sufficient for your travel needs.  Think about how good it will feel to streamline and release the various collections of luggage you may have acquired as you make the choice to opt for one good bag.

An example of such a bag is the Eagle Creek Switchback max 22 (or similar).  It can be wheeled along like any piece of luggage, or if I feel like backpacking it instead, that works too.  Otherwise it has the standard wheels and a zip off daypack.  The bag is a good shape and size without requiring a forklift to manage it.  It fits in Carry-0n if you are so inclined.  Packing all items in separate plastic bags is a good idea.  It allows you to remove just your socks or tops or underwear and find everything easily.  It is also a precaution against spills of liquids due to breakage or explosion. Bring a foldable lightweight duffle bag to carry home purchases.

NAMETAG:  Purchase a colorful, durable nametag to affix to your luggage with all your contact information on it; including your home address and contact information for the place you will be staying.

CARRY-ON:  Airlines only insure your belongings up to around 300 dollars.   Pack all valuables and  small travel computers, other electronics and valuables in your carry-on.  Your carry on is likely to be the daypack you will be carrying around throughout the journey.

THE PURSE: Forget the purse.  Leave it home.  It’s an unnecessary and useless accompaniment for this type of journey.  It is also the least useful and probably most dangerous way to carry important things.  Use your daypack.

DAYPACK:  This is a backpack that is suitable for a day’s outing.  Find a daypack you love and that fits your needs.   This is the travel bag that will go on the plane with you and will go on your daily outings.   I carry a computer notebook and paper in one compartment.  The other two are free for a light jacket/hat/rainwear.  The daypack can hold whatever is necessary for a particular outing and have space to spare for things you might acquire along the way.  Water is always essential, and this fits nicely into an external pocket on the daypack.   A pack with a bladder for water is also very nice to have, eliminating the water bottles.  Chose one that will have the size and space requirements you need.

CAMERA CASE:  If your camera is larger than the pocket sized, you will need a camera case and one that straps the camera in front of your will be most useful and safe.  Hanging a camera around your neck, unprotected, is not the best idea.   With a camera case, you can have your camera within easy reach and safely protected when you are not using it.

TRAVEL VEST:  Ex-Officio Women’s or Men’s Gobi Safari Vest – this is a lifesaver,  everything you need is readily available for navigating airports, taxis and so forth—a great piece of travel clothing.

GUIDEBOOKS:  If you like to explore restaurants and other places, bring a guidebook – better yet download it to your Kindle, Iphone or Ipad.

PRESCRIPTIONS & GLASSES:   Bring an extra pair of glasses and a copy of any prescriptions along.  Pack these in your carry-on.

DOCUMENTS:  Make photocopies of passport, credit cards and any other important documents.  Keep them in a different location than the originals.

SHOES:  Your choice of shoes is most important.  Unless you are actually planning on scaling a large mountain, forget the hiking boots.  They are heavy and overkill in many situations.  Of course, if you feel safer with these, go for it.  Generally, a pair of lightweight low cut hikers, like Merrill’s are adequate for just about any task. If you are buying new shoes for your journey–take a couple weeks of wearing them before you leave home.  Your other pair of shoes can be  sandals.   Ecco, Teva, Keen and many other brands out there fit the bill nicely.  This type of shoe is viable for walking about three miles.

SOCKS:   Chose your socks with care–make sure they are well padded in the toe and heel area.   A thinner sock might work for under your sandals when walking around town.

JACKETS:  LIGHTWEIGHT FLEECE– Make sure you have one that scrunches up to tiny …and keeps you warm.  These garments are fabulous and work perfectly with your layered wardrobe.    Bring another JACKET OR FLEECE for cooler evenings and mornings.

COSMETICS:  Take the necessities, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, facial cleansers…keep it simple.  Use small sized items and bottles ….you will not need much and replacements, if necessary, are easy to find.   Many of these items are included at your hotel.

HIKING STICKS:  I use collapsible Leki Ultra Lite hiking sticks on all my journeys and they have saved my life many times – stabilizing, balancing and taking a lot of stress off the body.  In many ancient temples and ruins you will encounter climbing on uneven surfaces, no handrails, slippery descents.  There are now sticks that collapse to fit inside a backpack.    IN PERU…THESE CAN BE PURCHASED VERY ($5-10 DOLLARS).

HAT:  Go for a completely collapsible hat you can scrunch into a pocket if needed.

NECK PILLOW:  You have probably seen these “U” shaped pillows at airports.  They are easy to bring along and support your neck on long flights and bus rides.

COMFORT IS KING:  Shop with comfort in mind.  Women…tops with built in bras are ideal.  Layers work wonders. Pockets are indispensible.  Sunglasses are necessary.  Yes, you will be wearing the same things over and over – consider it a travel uniform with small variations.  You don’t have to think about what you might wear, the selection will be minimal.

WHERE TO SHOP: Travel and Outdoor Stores are most likely to have the type of clothing and accessories you will want.

Lightweight Suitcase –and plastic bags to protect and separate groups of items
Daypack – carry on the plane and around during outings
Hiking Sticks – Take with or buy there  (much less expensive in Peru)
Hat–scrunchable

Socks—2-4 pairs of comfortable well padded socks
Pants–2 pairs pants – lightweight for walking and hiking
Tops–2 tops
Shirts–2 shirts
Underwear— (easy wash and dry) 3-4 changes
Shoes–1 pair lightweight low cut or other hiking shoes
Sandals– – Teva, Ecco, or others good for walking
Nightgown or Pajamas
Sock-type slippers
Glasses & Contact Lenses  (extra pair is a good idea)
Prescriptions & Medications
Rainjacket– (scrunchable)
Sunscreen
Camera (case, batteries, card)
Toiletries & Cosmetics  (in small sizes and containers)
Jackets—1 lightweight thin fleece (scrunchable) and 1 other fleece or jacket
Skin so Soft–(for bugs -early mornings at sites)
Neck Pillow–Optional
Sunglasses
Documents—Photocopies of passport and credit cards and any other important documents
Travel Vest–Optional
Guidebooks—Optional (recommend uploading to electronic devices)

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